Oshkosh DC-3 Formation At 40

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Organizers of a mass arrival of DC-3s and C-47s at AirVenture Oshkosh this year now expect 40 aircraft to take part. The original goal was 25 aircraft making an hour-long flight from Rock Falls, Ill., to Wittman Regional Airport for a formation flyby at 1,000 feet to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the iconic aircraft. Organizers were deluged with requests to participate in the flight, which will be the largest formation of Douglases since the Second World War. The current record is 27, set in South Africa in 1985. There are 12 aircraft on standby to fill any slots that open up before the flight. Once in Oshkosh, the aircraft will be the centerpiece of festivities throughout the week and may include a one-of-a-kind heritage flight.

The Air Force has approved Altus Air Force Base's "Rat Pack" C-17 Globemaster demonstration team to fly in formation with three C-47s to commemorate the huge impact the Douglas had on the outcome of the Second World War and to remember those who didn't come back. The heritage flight still must be approved by EAA but that's expected shortly. Celebrities, C-47 war veterans and some other surprises are in store for the event, which begins with two days of preparation at Rock Falls.